As part of Cardiff & Vale Health Charity’s ‘First Impressions’ Project at Barry Hospital, we were able to fund Ruth Bradshaw, Music and Arts for Health and Wellbeing Facilitator, to hold sessions with patients on the Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital.

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Due to Covid restrictions Ruth initially led the sessions on a virtual platform. The patients had the use of an iPad in the dayroom to access the sessions which Ruth led from her home computer.  Once Covid restrictions were lifted, thankfully Ruth was able to take the sessions in person, albeit whilst wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

There has been a very positive response from the staff on the Sam Davies Ward, who are incredibly supportive of the sessions and believe that they have a positive effect on patients’ well-being which in turn can also assist with improvements with their health. Ruth also said that the staff on the Sam Davies are “super – as ever. They help to motivate patients to attend the sessions”.

These Health and Wellbeing Sessions are person centred and Ruth is guided by what the patients need at that particular time.  For example they might want to talk within a group, reminisce about their lives, suggest and sing a favourite song or just sit back, relax and listen to the session.  Ruth also advises on breathing exercises, offers gentle movement to music with the use of scarves and beanbags, and mindful listening to classical music.  Ruth always encourages gentle humour if deemed appropriate as laughter can raise a person’s wellbeing.

The aim of these sessions is to help patients to break isolation, express and deal with negative emotions, realise that they are more than their illness, engage in creative activities and improve the environment on the ward.  The patients have responded so well to what has been offered and Ruth has very kindly shared some of their quotes, and some photographs of their Christmas creative activities:-

‘So glad I came today’           ‘ I wasn’t going to come today but I’m glad I did’

‘That was fun’         ‘Will you come again?’      ‘   Can we sing Tom Jones again?’

‘It’s good to get out of bed’

To find out more about Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, and some of the projects we fund, contact us on

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